March 2018 Newsletter 

March 9, 2018

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When will it end?  Old man winter just doesn't want to go away and he's reeking more damage in the month of March than the entire season.  So much for the daffodils that came up early.  Keep the shovels handy and help your neighbors that need it.  That wet snow is HEAVY!  Spring Break can't come fast enough. 

Bob Jackson, Managing Director


New Jersey Superfund Sites and The Trump Administration

The attached link is to an article about the Trump Administration's plans for Superfund Sites in New Jersey. 

"The Environmental Protection Agency plans to step up efforts to get the companies who dumped toxic waste at New Jersey's Superfund sites to pay to clean them up, administrator Scott Pruitt said.

Pruitt on Monday blamed a lack of urgency, not a lack of funding, for the lack of progress in cleaning up the sites. New Jersey has 114 designated Superfund sites, the most in the nation, including three of Pruitt's 21 highest-priority locations.

"I'm going to get accountability with whomever it is on these Superfund sites and we will use every means of enforcement to do so," Pruitt told a group of Washington-based reporters from local news outlets, including NJ Advance Media. "I don't think we've done it as well as we should have historically and we're going to do better going forward."

There are three high priority sites located in American Cyanamid in Bridgewater, Berry Creek Study Area in Bergen County, and Diamond Alkali Newark, NJ.   

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-6th Dist. thinks that the list appears to be nothing more than a list of sites with upcoming actions for which the administrator wants to take credit.

Source: Jonathan D. Salantjsalant@njadvancemedia.com, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com March 2018. Article


NJDEP Preliminary Assessment Guidance

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, (NJDEP) has recently announced revisions to the Preliminary Assessment (PA) Technical Guidance (Version 1.3, March 2018).

Updates to the PA Guidance included such things as clarification of the intent of the guidance, updated references to other guidance documents, and a new section identifying resources for conducting Preliminary Assessments.

The intent of the guidance has been clarified to indicate that the subject site is to be fully investigated, including documenting comprehensive historic as well as current operations. An additional paragraph was added as a reminder to understand the regulatory requirements of the Technical Regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:26E) [Tech Regs] to ensure all parts of the preliminary assessment report are complete. By emphasizing the importance of the Tech Regs, the NJDEP has indicated that a PA goes beyond an ASTM compliant Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA), since the PA requires identification of not only Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs), but all Areas of Concern (AOCs) as defined in the Tech Regs, whether these areas are potentially contaminated or not. In fact, specific language was added in Section 2.19.1 of the guidance to confirm that an AOC as defined in the Tech Regs includes any area were hazardous materials or hazardous substances were stored, treated, etc. and is not limited to contaminated areas of concern and that all AOCs should be listed in the Case Inventory Document (CID).

The revised guidance emphasizes that a PA includes a complete history of the site and is not limited to the current owner and/or operator. An additional clarification has been added noting that older backfill material used on prior remediation efforts may be a concern if the source is questionable or can't be identified. If such is the case, sampling may be necessary.

The revised PA guidance also added the requirement that, "When there is limited information regarding historical operations or areas of concern, the PA should recommend a Site Investigation with sampling including greater frequency and a larger parameter list."

NJDEP added references to the use of NJDEP's GeoWeb and DataMiner resources on its website, noting that both resources are free of charge and should automatically be used for data gathering as part of a preliminary assessment.

The NJDEP's revision of the PA guidance brings emphasis to the fact that a PA is not the same as a Phase I ESA, and a Phase I ESA is not an adequate substitute for a proper PA. The PA being more thorough and having more stringent requirements for investigating and documenting the use of the site and identifying AOCs.

The updated technical guidance and change logs can be found on the SRP Guidance Library (www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/). The previous version of the technical guidance and change logs can be found on the SRP Guidance Library Archive (www.nj.gov/dep/srp/guidance/archive/).

Equity Environmental Engineering. LLC can assist with any questions you may have regarding the requirements for a PA and when one is required or appropriate rather than a Phase I ESA. Contact Chris Langewisch via email at chris.langewisch@equityenvironmental.com.


Trenching and Excavation

OSHA has placed a Special Emphasis Program (SEP) for the programmed safety inspection for trenching and excavation operations. This is a national effort due to the continuing frequency of trench/excavation collapses and associated loss of life. Currently, 6 of OSHA's 10 Regions nationwide are already conducting local emphasis programs in this area. OSHA has determined that an increased enforcement presence at worksites where such operations are being conducted is warranted.

Trenching and excavation work creates hazards to workers which are extremely dangerous. Compliance with OSHA construction standards applicable to such operations is frequently ignored because of economic pressures, a belief that compliance is unnecessary, or an expectation that these short-term operations will go undetected. Although it would be expected that after more than 12 years of enforcement activity, most employers would be proper trenching and excavation requirements, experience has shown that such is not the case.

So, what does this mean for my jobsite where excavation or trenching activities are occurring:

1. All OSHA compliance personnel have been instructed to be on the lookout for trenching/excavation worksites and report them to applicable area offices.  

2. All trenching and excavation worksites brought to the attention of the area office will be inspected.

3. Make sure that all your jobsites with excavation or trenching activities are following OSHA's Excavations standard (29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart P). Remember, Workers have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules.
  • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA.

Should you or your company need assistance with understanding the safety aspects of trenching and excavation (i.e. soil mechanics, various types of shoring and other safety systems) please contact Faron Moser, CHST at 973-527-7451, ext. 303 or via e-mail at faron.moser@equityenvironmental.com.


New Employee

Neal Leitner, Planner 

Equity would like to announce the addition of Neal Leitner to our staff.  Neal Leitner has joined us from Vienna, Austria where he received a Master of Science in Ecological Economics from Europe's largest business school, the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The degree has augmented 15 years of professional experience in urban and environmental planning and comes with a unique perspective gained in Europe. Resiliency and sustainability are two key factors in adapting to environmental challenges. Environmental economics finds ways to make sustainable solutions profitable. There are a variety of different technical solutions that are becoming both environmentally and economically advantageous in Europe that may soon be applied here. His knowledge of these solutions can enable Equity to tackle future environmental challenges in creative ways. 

Mr. Leitner is looking forward to applying his expertise and experience to enhance the capabilities of the firm. Previously, he has worked as a Senior Planner for Sussex County, New Jersey where he managed transportation projects in conjunction with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), cooperated in public-private partnerships to install green infrastructure projects, worked with bio-tech corporations to find creative and innovative waste-to-energy solutions for solid waste authorities, and became a member of the New Jersey Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Council (NJBPAC) to find multi-modal solutions for New Jersey's Transportation problems.

Neal can be reached at 973-527-7451, ext. 208 or via e-mail at neal.leitner@equityenvironmental.com. We are very pleased to have Neal working with us.  

 
 

Calendar

Equity Staff has or will be attending the following events:

J. Walker, P Jaran - Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules Part I and II - 3/9 and 3/23/18

F. Moser - OSHA 511 General Industry Training - 3/12 - 3/15/18

M. Barrieres/P. Jaran - NJ Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnerhip - 3/15/18

C. Langewisch - Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce -  3/15/18

P. Jaran - SAME NJ Post Board Meeting - 3/27/18

R. Jackson -  SDA Training, March - June 2018

C. Langewisch - CIANJ EBC Meeting - 3/28/18

F. Moser  - Regional Alliance for Small Contractors - 2018 Contractors Clearinghouse - 4/ 5/18

J. Vrabel/G. Bove - Vapor Intrusion Guidance Seminar at Montclair State - 4/6/18

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